Wokking the lamb

Chops: A wok cooks the succulent meat to a seared perfection.

April 23, 2000|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,Universal Press Syndicate

Tender cuts of lamb are well suited to the ancient Asian culinary tradition of wok cooking. Aside from its efficiencies of fuel, cooking oil and time, wok cooking preserves the succulence of lamb chops and cuts from the leg or shoulder. And woks aren't just for stir-frying; a flat-bottomed steel wok placed directly over an electric burner browns these chops to perfection.

Lamb Chops With Mustard- Rosemary Sauce

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 lamb loin chops (1 1/2 inches thick), well trimmed, with tenderloin "tails" left on

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons minced green onion

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup whipping cream

chopped chives, for garnish

To prepare marinade, in a large bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, rosemary and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub two-thirds of the marinade over chops. Roll tails around chops; skewer with toothpicks. Marinate, covered, 2 hours in refrigerator.

Preheat ungreased wok over medium-high heat. Using tongs, stand chops on edge in hot wok to brown, rolling chops on edge until all edges are brown (about 3 minutes total).

Remove chops; drain any fat from wok. Add oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to wok. When hot, return chops to wok; sear on one side until medium-rare, turning once. Cook until thickest portions of chops register 145 degrees on a meat thermometer (about 4 to 5 minutes total). Season with salt and pepper. Remove chops; keep warm. Pour off fat, leaving any browned bits in wok.

Reduce heat to medium; add remaining butter to wok. Add green onion; saute until soft (1 minute). Add reserved marinade and wine; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil while loosening browned bits. Reduce to light glaze (about 2 minutes). Add cream and stir, boiling slowly until thickened (2 minutes more).

Remove toothpicks from chops. Spoon sauce over chops, garnish with chives, and serve.

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